• I’ve played Japan several times, and it seems like by turn six or seven they always end up facing off against a massive US fleet. I’ve taken Australia by turn 3, but that didn’t end well because in the new rules ANZAC, the US, and British India all take their turns one after the other, which meant Japan got hit by three navies without having time to reinforce.

    However, it seems like they only way to play a successful Japan is to open with a strong attack to put the Allies off-balance. Otherwise, the US (and the other Allies) will take Japan’s sea zone and essentially lay siege to the main island.

    The next time I play as Japan, I’m considering building additional transports in the first turn and using my starting navy to take India by turn three. This way, Britain will not be able to support China and I’ll be able to secure mainland Asia before the United States gets into the fight. Additionally, I’ve considered using my starting navy (with additional transports) to go for the US itself, though this seems like a bad idea as the US will simply spam infantry and artillery in Central and Eastern US.

    My question is this. What strategy would you employ to play a successful Japan?


  • @gobydude:

    My question is this. What strategy would you employ to play a successful Japan?

    Sue for peace. It’s the only sure-fire path to success.

    You always had to account for three waves of ships breaking pickets. It’s a lot easier for Japan now in Alpha+ .2 since the weaker powers can’t open up things for the US.

    Turn 3 India is a pipe dream against experienced Allied players. Shoot for four.

    Overall, pick your targets and stick with them. Going hard after China, then switching to Australia or something else, will result in disaster. Japan is anemic compared to what they could accomplish on their own in previous games. It’s much harder for them to expand in all directions.


  • IC on Korea

  • TripleA

    actually you can do turn 3 india… just need a little luck. worst case scenario you set up for it and he turtles up and the burma road is fucked. so you can get china done sooner.


  • When my friends and I play India always turtles on the Burma Road and in their capitol, the only time to break through is in the beginning before they’ve amassed a huge stack of infantry. That’s why I suggested turn three–one turn to consolidate the navy and build transports around Japan, another turn to move three spaces towards India, and entering their sea zone on turn three. After the third turn war is declared automatically, so hitting one of the Allies with a huge attack on turn three is about the best thing to do–they haven’t had a lot of time to build up and it doesn’t bring the US in any sooner than it would otherwise.

    Plus, going for India will prevent them from liberating China later, which has always proven a problem for me. Mid-game, the US is pressuring Japan on the sea, and India is coming up through the Burma Road with infantry and artillery. The way I see it, it’s better to get one out of the way quickly so I only have to deal with one of them later.

    The problem is, this strategy leaves Japan wide open for about a turn. If the American navy is anywhere near Japan in that time, I’m screwed.


  • I should have asked first if you are playing OOB. If so, turn 3 taking of India is much more doable, and it is easy enough to block attacks on Japan with destroyers, or just build troops on the mainland.

    I have to ask then, why is India just sitting there? If they aren’t being attacked, they should be on the offensive pushing into China.

    Attacking turn 3 does bring in the US sooner. They otherwise have to wait until turn 4 to attack.


  • if the US focuses exclusively in the Pacific your best bet is to get Germany to gain VC quickly in Europe thus winning the game for the axis despite the struggling Pacific theater


  • I have to ask then, why is India just sitting there? If they aren’t being attacked, they should be on the offensive pushing into China.

    India does push into China, they build almost exclusively infantry and artillery, which means there’s a steady stream of them going from India, through Burma and into the Burma Road. Sort of like the German tank blitz towards Russia in the Anniversary Edition. It’s very difficult to take care of later in the game, which is why I’m considering going for India early the next time I play as Japan.

    And yes, we are playing double-blind. Last time I played my destroyer screen was incomplete and ANZAC ended up taking Japan.

    It was horrible. I’d already taken ANZAC, though, so we were even.

  • Customizer

    In a game I played a couple of months or so back, Italy ended up helping Japan out.  Italy had a little good luck and managed to eliminate the British in the Med and secured Egypt and Trans-Jordan with their navy still intact.  This was helped by a successful German Sealion which meant that Britain would not be sending any reenforcements to the Med or Africa.  They then managed to come through the Suez and take India from behind.  Of course, this was also helped by the fact that India was being aggressive and building expensive naval units and fighters instead of stacks of infantry.  By this time, the US was just getting into the war but Japan had enough resources to deal with them since they didn’t have to bother with the Indian Navy and ANZAC was more of a pest than a real threat.
    I believe we were using the first Alpha rules then and the new scramble rules weren’t included yet.  That was part of the reason that Sealion was successful in this game.  The Luftwaffe easily trashed the Royal Navy which opened the way for successful German landings.


  • You had a successful Sealion and kicked the British out of the Med? AND Italy helped Japan in the Pacific? That sounds like the definition of a one-in-a-million chance, and also incredibly awesome. But I suppose no scramble rules would have made it easier.

    I’ve been outlining my Japan taking India plan, next time I play I’ll try it out and if it works well I’ll post it.

  • TripleA

    testing is pretty quick actually. just pull out one dice and use low luck rules. you can self test 3 rounds within a half hour if you skip over the europe side.


  • Cow,  would you please explain the low-luck rules you are talking about.

    Also, what is meant by playing “double blind”?


  • Sid Vicious: Double-blind is when you use two boards and a moderator. Allies play on one board, Axis plays on another board. Each team is in a separate room so they can’t see each other’s boards; only the moderator can see both boards. Each team also starts with one “recon plane” unit; the recon plane has no attack, but reveals whatever is in a territory that it flies over. The moderator goes back and forth between the boards, giving each team the results of their recon and also telling them when they have to engage in battle. For example, if Germany moves into a Russian-occupied territory and the two nations are at war, the moderator announces that each side must engage in combat. The two nations then move their armies to the battleboard (the armies are revealed) and combat commences.

    It’s more realistic this way, because we don’t always know where the enemy’s armies are. Otherwise, we play with alpha +2 rules.

    Cow: I’d also appreciate it if you explained what “low luck rules” are, I’ve never heard of them.


  • Low luck is game play without dice.  You add the fighting strength of the units (e.g. 6 attacking infantry + 2 tanks is 61 + 23 = 12) and divide by 6, dealing that many hits.  I’m not sure what’s done with rounding, though.


  • Well “low luck” would imply rounding down, I suppose… thanks for the explanation. It sounds useful for play-testing.


  • Thanks for the answers guys.  LOW LUCk does sound like an quick and easy easy way to estimate battle results when testing strategies.

    DOUBLE BLIND!!!  Wow!  Sounds labor intensive but very intriguing……


  • Speaking of the US, once the US starts getting its bonus income for being at war, it’s nearly impossible for Japan to fend off the assault (assuming US dedicates all of its IPCs to the Pacific theater). Would it be a good idea for Japan to do a quick, preemptive strike on the US homeland, Pearl Harbor style?

    I’m thinking no, but if it’s worked for you I’d like to hear how you did it…

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